January 7, 2011By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jan 7, 2011
So, thanks to a winter break where I was totally indoctrinated into the Cult of Eddie Matos (you would not believe how many State Farm Insurance commercials air in a given day), I came back to work ready to tune back into AMC. (Strangely, I've also been itching to buy insurance...) And I gotta say, all cult jokes aside, I kinda like Matos' recurring Rev. Ricky. He and Kendall have a nice connection (and not in the Thorn Birds way). Losing Zach has absolutely wrecked the poor woman, and it's great that she has somebody to talk to.
But you know who I'm not sold on just yet...? Pine Valley Hospital's new hot doc, Griffin Castillo. Maybe it's just my bad luck, but every time I flip from Y&R or B&B over to AMC, Griffin's being snarly! He just doesn't seem very accessible. And, yes, I know that it's an old story trope: snarliness eventually melts into warm fuzziness, but I'm not buying it. Similar to how Caleb was a crabby asshat to Erica and is now unbelievable as this guy getting all moony over her, I don't want to see Griffin getting all soppy over Kendall. Part and parcel of this, of course, is Zendall, and the fact that Zach is such a huge, huge part of Kendall's life, and her sons' lives. The powers-that-be at AMC have promised that Kendall will be grieving Zach for a long time, and I hope that a "long time" doesn't translate to "she'll be kissing Griffin in March." Kendall is a chip off Erica's block, but I'm crossing my fingers that she doesn't follow in her mother's footsteps and become engaged in a nonsensical attraction to a guy not suitable for her.
Let's face it, creating a successful pairing is hard. You may strike gold with a formula once or twice and then the third time, it goes over like a lead balloon. The thing about Zendall is that they were a fluke! I remember fans on the message boards going, "Hey, Kendall should hook up with Zach Slater" long before it was even hinted at on air. Viewers saw something there and between the actors and the writing, you had something that, magically, worked! That's hard to replicate! I know Kendall has to move on eventually, and Griffin is AMC's new "It" guy, but I don't quite see him pulling a rabbit out of a hat yet.
On the bright side, I already like Griffin's sister, Cara a lot. Sure, she bears no resemblance to the Carolyn Jake was married to a few years ago, but she's Lindsay Hartley, so I'm going to let that go. I think I've said this before, but Hartley is, to me, one of those quintessential soap actresses. (B&B's Katherine Kelly Lang and DAYS' Melissa Reeves are others I feel this way about.) She's grown up, and grown as a performer, on daytime. And as much as I loved her wacky Theresa on PASSIONS, I enjoyed watching her play a completely different archetype in DAYS' Arianna. (At least until Ari made EJ her Ethan Crane 2.0 and got turned into a hood ornament...but let's not talk about that.) Cara is another evolution for her, and while I don't know that I want Cara reunited with Jake (Jake and Amanda are awesome together!), I hope she settles down and finds love.
I'm still settling back into Pine Valley, but I'm interested to see what this year holds for the newbies and the long-time citizens.